Sirens were heard from CFB Esquimalt Tuesday night in a series of strange noises and power outages. File photo

Sirens were heard from CFB Esquimalt Tuesday night in a series of strange noises and power outages. File photo

UPDATE: Problems at B.C. Hydro substation cause electrical issues, sirens across Greater Victoria

Power surges caused flickering lights across the City and sirens at CFB Esquimalt

A problem at a B.C. Hydro substation caused power surges across Greater Victoria, and sirens at the CFB Esquimalt Tuesday night.

Across Greater VictoriaFacebook Groups have been sharing incidences of flickering lights and power outages, horns and sirens. Others have also reported hearing helicopters.

B.C. Hydro officials say that they were experiencing equipment problems Tuesday night around 10 p.m.

“There was an issue at one of our substations last night,” said Ted Olynyk, manager of community relations. “Something tripped, and when we did some switching in our systems that would have caused flickering lights across Greater Victoria.”

Olynyk said problems happened at the Horsey substation on Nanaimo Street in Victoria, noting that even though it is located on the Victoria-Saanich border, the entire Greater Victoria grid was affected.

CFB Esquimalt officials said that their sirens were triggered by a power surge.

“It was not the mass notification system, it was a combination of ships and building alarms,” said Capt. Jenn Jackson.

She added in a release that an alarm on one of their ORCA-class ships was triggered while it was docked along D-Jetty in Colwood, which is monitored by the CFB Esquimalt fire hall. When the alarm was tripped, the fire hall responded and was able to disarm the alarm and determine there were no ongoing issues.

Other alarms were triggered in buildings both at Dockyard and Naden base centres.

In an unrelated incident at 12:30 a.m. a bilge pump alarm was triggered on one of their Maritime Coastal Defense Vessels at Y-Jetty in Naden. Capt. Jackson said these alarms were unrelated to the power surge, and while the exact cause is unknown, were likely caused by a large shift in the bilge water due to a rocking ship or a loss of power to the pump. People on duty watch were able to respond to the alarm and reset it.

No damage to ships was reported, and additionally no military helicopters were flying Tuesday night.

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